battery

Climate Central

As an increasing number of states focus on renewable energy, batteries are becoming more of a necessity. And according to a new report, battery costs are dropping—but not enough to compete with fossil fuels.

The report comes from Climate Central, a nonprofit organization that studies the impacts of climate change. In it, the authors state that batteries and renewable energy sources are becoming cheaper by the year.

The Aqua Metals refining facility is located in Storey County’s Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.
Natalie Van Hoozer

The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center just welcomed a company in the battery industry, but it’s not Tesla.

Aqua Metals, a company which recycles lead batteries, held a grand opening to unveil the world’s first facility for a process company executives call “AquaRefining.”

More environmentally friendly than smelting, “AquaRefining” dissolves the lead acid from batteries in a water solution instead of heating it and causing emissions.

Battery Tech: Lithium Ion And Beyond

Jul 28, 2016
Whitney Powell

As part of our series Behind the Battery Boom, we’re taking a look at a key element of the factory: batteries. Lithium-ion batteries to be exact, and whether the electric vehicle industry’s multi-billion-dollar bet on the technology will pay off.

It’s Electric! Tesla Gigafactory Officially Opens

Jul 26, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Electric car maker Tesla officially opened its Gigafactory near Reno.

The massive factory is only about 15 percent complete, and when it’s finished will stretch more than 10 million square feet. That’s about the size of 260 pro football fields, making it one of the largest buildings in the world.

Beatrice Murch, Flickr, CC by SA-2.0

Nevada’s prehistoric lakebeds are more than just picturesque, they’re the site of a lithium rush taking place on public lands. This quest for alkali riches has been fueled by a surge in worldwide demand for batteries.

For more than a century, prospectors have searched for lucrative minerals across the American West under the Mining Act of 1872.

That law allows them to stake a claim on a piece of ground and whatever minerals may be hidden beneath. Lately, in Nevada at least, the area drawing the most interest are its salty, ancient lakebeds.

Julia Ritchey

A new minor being offered at the University of Nevada, Reno, is teaching students how to build batteries from scratch — the same type that Tesla is preparing to mass produce at the nearby Gigafactory.

Graduate student Marylou Lindstrom is explaining the process for making a lithium-ion coin cell battery to a group of students decked out in white coats and safety goggles.

She's one of 21 people enrolled in the Battery and Energy Storage Technologies minor added to the College of Engineering.